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DPE launches survey to support unionization efforts for architecture professionals

United States Architecture News - Apr 13, 2022 - 11:57   951 views

DPE launches survey to support unionization efforts for architecture professionals

The Department for Professional Employees (DPE), a coalition of 24 national unions representing over four million professional and technical employees, has launched a survey to support the unionization efforts and to provide better insight to the architectural profession. 

The survey released by DPE covers various questions to learn about architectural professionals’ work conditions, such as questions about typical hours worked, pay, benefits, and workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Washington DC-based DPE was established in 1977 by a forward looking group of labor leaders who recognized the rapid growth of professionals and the necessity for those professionals to have a place in the labor movement. 

The survey, which points to the problems of architecture in unionization, emerges as a result of the declarations or feedbacks of many architectural professionals based on their concerns about the working conditions and future careers in the architecture industry.

DPE launches survey to support unionization efforts for architecture professionals

A group of architects at SHoP announced their unionization plans. Photography from a Zoom call via AWU's Instagram account  

DPE's brief survey emerged after a group of architects at New York-based firm SHoP Architects' unionization efforts in December 2021 to criticize over-load workforce and endless deadlines at the firm. 

The group, who called themselves as Architectural Workers United (AWU), had announced their unionization plans in a letter sent to the New York Times which was reported on 21 December 20, 2021.

"The goal of our survey is to gain a better understanding of the workplace issues"

"Our aim is to support professionals interested in joining together in union to create better workplaces," Communications Director of DPE Katie Barrows told World Architecture Community. 

"We decided to launch this survey because we heard from many architectural professionals who have concerns about the industry and their careers, and wanted to learn how we can best support them when they organize."

"The goal of our survey is to gain a better understanding of the workplace issues most important to architectural professionals in order to adequately assist those interested in improving their workplaces," Barrows added.

Although there is no formal deadline for the survey, DPE aims to keep it open at least until the end of April 2022. 

"Results will provide valuable insight"

DPE believes that the results of this survey will provide important insights into the need for changes in the careers of professional architects.

Barrows added that "We think the results will provide valuable insight into what changes need to be made to create better architectural careers." 

"Additionally, we hope the results show architectural professionals they are not alone in the workplace issues they are dealing with and inspire more architectural professionals to organize with their coworkers to address these issues," Barrows told WAC. 

Barrows also said professional workers can actually support a union if given the opportunity, but many don't know where to start. 

Barrows added that architectural employees interested in learning more about joining together in union can contact DPE via its website and the department can provide them with information on how to get started.

Top image: Workers of the Palace Hotel - part of Marriott Hotels - are on strike in October 2018 in San Francisco to fight for higher wages, workplace security and job safety. The hotel strikers are carrying signs which say "One job should be enough". Image © Bastian Greshake Tzovaras via Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 2.0.

> via Department for Professional Employees